Construction on new deck begins

A construction project that begins tomorrow in downtown Coupeville will affect businesses and traffic on historic Front Street for the next 40 days.

The city is spending $277,000 on the deck and a stormwater outfall located next to the Knead and Feed restaurant. The Coupeville Town Council met recently and approved the contract to Anacortes-based GG Construction.

Mayor Nancy Conard said the bid came in higher than the $211,000 estimate. She said the tight timeline of a challenging project affected costs.

“They have a really short time frame,” Conard said. “They only have 40 days.”

Construction can only be done during low tides to have the least impact on fish, Conard said. After March 15, construction crews will work from Front Street.

Once construction begins, a portion of Front Street from Main Street to Grace Street will be closed to make room for construction equipment and materials.

Town officials have a plan to direct traffic through the area to minimize impacts on local businesses.

“We wanted the least discouragement for tourists,” Conard said.

Traffic will move through downtown in a circular pattern as portions of Front Street and Alexander Street will become one-way roads. Grace Street will become one-way for traffic going uphill from Front Street to the Recreation Hall parking lot.

Conard said the signs in the area will be changed to reflect the new traffic pattern. She encourages visitors to use the parking lot behind the library.

Every business in downtown Coupeville will remain open during the construction period and can be accessed by pedestrians.

When the deck is removed, construction workers will build a temporary walkway to provide access to Knead and Feed.

Town officials are meeting with local business owners today to discuss the traffic revisions and any concerns about the construction project. That meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Side Room of the Island County Museum.

The new outfall connects with the project to replace North Main Street from Third Street to Front Street. The replacement project improves drainage down the street.

The North Main Street replacement project is scheduled to begin in late April — after the deck and outfall project is complete.

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